dictionary definition of addiction

How to Define Addiction and Why It Matters

Approved by NASW, NH Chapter, for 6 Cat. 1 CE Credits, Auth. #3381

New Workshop!

This workshop will give you an orientation to the language/definitions of addiction and a foundational understanding of the theories of how problematic substance use develops. Despite daily news coverage and constant conversations about it, the definition of addiction remains elusive and its meaning shifts. Stigma and misunderstanding around the word are enduring and impactful. Some theories have framed addiction as a disease, a genetic legacy, and even more disturbingly, as moral weakness. However, single theme models do not promote comprehensive understanding of problematic substance use, to the detriment of those who are in need of support. It is especially important to consider the definition, theories, and language used to describe health-threatening, stigmatized conditions such as those involving drugs and alcohol. Research shows that the effectiveness of public health policies meant to treat these issues can be impacted by the terminology used to describe them. In exploring the definition of addiction this workshop will also consider the accompanying concepts of intervention, treatment, and recovery. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how theory informs policy, and how it might impact treatment and recovery.

(This is part of the Coaching Youth at Risk of Addiction Certificate Programs, but you do not need to enroll in the programs to take this workshop.)

Instructor Bios


How to Define Addiction and Why It Matters

  • Hannah Mariotti

    Hannah Mariotti

    Hannah Mariotti is a licensed mental health counselor with over 20 years of experience in education and mental health care. As a counselor, she has held positions in hospitals, health services and private practice. Hannah has worked in both traditional independent and therapeutic schools with students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Her areas of expertise include: learning and the brain, anxiety/depression, attachment and trauma, autism spectrum issues, social/emotional learning and mindfulness. Currently, Hannah works as a school counselor on the New Hamphire seacoast, teaches at Granite State College and is a co-owner and practitioner at Beacon Coaching & Consulting. She has a master’s degree in counseling.

9:00am - 4:00pm
Portsmouth/Pease, 119 International Drive
Hannah Mariotti
USNH Tuition Waiver Discount
PDT - 10% Alumni Discount